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Morocco Photography Expedition

  • Trip Type: Photography
  • 10 Days | Casablanca to Fez
  • Group Size: Max 16

Expedition Details

 

With your camera in hand, discover the enchanting cities of Marrakech and Fez, venture into rose-colored kasbahs, and snap portraits of traditional Berber families in their mountain villages. Photograph the ancient adobe village of Aït Ben Haddou lit up by the late afternoon sun, and ride into the Sahara on a camel to capture the sun setting on the dunes.

Trip Highlights

  • Capture the late afternoon light on ancient clay walls on a photo shoot in the hilltop village of Aït Ben Haddou.
  • Ride into the Sahara on a camel in time to photograph the sun setting on the dunes.
  • Take portraits of the wizened snake charmers of Marrakech, tanners knee-deep in dye vats, and traditional Berber families.
  • Photograph Morocco's diverse landscapes: palm oases at the foot of soaring plateaus, lush cedar forests, the rugged Atlas Mountains, and the soft curves of the Saharan sands.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 — Casablanca, Morocco

Arrive in Casablanca and meet your fellow travelers for a welcome lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This afternoon, stroll through the city’s Habous district and the mechouar, the ceremonial meeting place outside the Royal Palace. Tonight, gather for a festive welcome dinner.
Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche (L,D)

Day 2 — Casablanca/Marrakech

Drive through the elegant Anfa neighborhood on the way to Marrakech, Morocco’s legendary “pearl of the South.” Enjoy a poolside lunch at the hotel before exploring the city of Marrakech. See the splendid Koutoubia Mosque and the Saadian Tombs, and visit Bahia Palace. Explore the labyrinthine streets of the medina, lined with market stalls and craftspeople; and soak up the colorful chaos of Djemma el Fna Square, where snake charmers and magicians captivate the passersby. Tonight, gather for a rooftop reception and dinner accompanied by traditional Gnaoua music in the heart of the old medina.
Sofitel Marrakech (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Marrakech

Continue exploring the sites of Marrakech today. Meander through the stunning Majorelle Garden, once owned by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, and see an exclusive collection of Berber objects originating from diverse regions of Morocco at the Berber Museum. Explore historic Moroccan architecture at the 14th-century Ben Youssef Madrasa. After lunch, venture back to the lively medina with our local guide or explore on your own.
Sofitel Marrakech (B,L)

Days 4 & 5 — Marrakech/High Atlas Mountains

On this special departure, immerse yourself in the rich culture of the High Atlas Mountains. Settle into the beautiful Kasbah du Toubkal, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World set on a hilltop beneath the highest peak in the range. Experience Berber hospitality on walks in the village and visits to family homes and markets. Take a half-day excursion in to the mountains on a variety of hikes and walks, and return to relax in typical Moroccan style: with a mint tea on the terrace or a steam bath in the traditional hammam. Dine on delicious cuisine and warm bread baked in clay ovens on site, and soak up the timeless atmosphere of rural Morocco.
Kasbah du Toubkal (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Aït Benhaddou/Ouarzazate

Cross the Tichka Pass, stopping to board 4x4s for the trip to the Kasbah of Telouet. Once home to the powerful Glaoui clan, the kasbah’s crumbling exterior belies its rich tile and woodwork. After lunch in the village, drive through the Ounila Valley to the ancient fortified village of Aït Ben Haddou, and delve into its warren of twisting lanes. Continue to Ouarzazate, a former colonial trading post now known for its movie studios where films such as Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia were shot.
Le Berbère Palace (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Ouarzazate/Boumalne Dades

Learn about traditional adobe architecture in Taourirt Kasbah this morning. Then set out on the fabled Road of 1,000 Kasbahs. Arrive in Boumalne Dades, a small town nestled amid the crags and plateaus of the semidesert landscape. After lunch, head out on a walk in the dramatic Dades Gorge, admiring the spectacular scenery and enjoying an up-close look at rural life.
Xaluca Dades (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Erfoud/Rissani/Merzouga

Follow the Road of 1,000 Kasbahs to Erfoud, passing spectacular rock formations, oases, and rose plantations. In Erfoud, climb into 4x4s for the drive into the desert. Visit the souk in Rissani, a historic camel caravan stop. Later, ride into the dunes on a camel to watch the sun set on the Sahara. Settle into our comfortable Berber tented camp to dine under the star-studded sky and enjoy an evening of Berber folk music.
Bivouac Tented Berber Camp (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Merzouga/Fez

If you wish, wake early for a walk in the nearby dunes as the rising sun paints the dunes orange and gold. Return to the camp for a hearty breakfast, then head north into the high-mountain plains on your way to Fez. Arrive in Fez early this evening, and check in to our hotel.
Hotel Sahrai (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Fez

Spend the day exploring this magnificent imperial city. Visit the Royal Palace and Fes Jdid, home to the historic Jewish quarter. Delve into the lively medina, where merchants preside over colorful mounds of spices and tanners soak skins in vats of dye. Discover the 14th-century Bou Inania Madrasa, characterized by its intricately carved stucco walls, arches, and cornices. See the Nejjarine Fountain, covered in exquisite mosaics, and the Kairaouine Mosque.
Hotel Sahrai (B,L)

Day 11 — Fez/Volubilis and Meknes

Today you may choose to explore Fez at your own pace or take an excursion to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, a World Heritage site, and Meknès, Morocco’s 17th-century capital. Toast our Moroccan adventure at a farewell dinner tonight.
Hotel Sahrai (B,D)

Day 12 — Depart Fez.

This morning, transfer to the Fez airport for your return flight or transfer to Casablanca for flights departing in the afternoon.
(B)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Massimo Bassano

Massimo BassanoBorn and raised in Italy, photojournalist Massimo Bassano has published his work in National Geographic Traveler and on the National Geographic website, as well as in numerous European publications. He regularly teaches National Geographic photography workshops in Tuscany and Venice. His acclaimed photography book The Color of Silence detailed the 12 weeks he spent in a little-known Italian monastery. Massimo has traveled and photographed extensively in Morocco, and will share techniques and insights as you explore the country.

Massimo will join the following departure:

Sep 30 - Oct 09, 2017

Dates

2017
  • Sep 30 - Oct 09, 2017 ALT (waitlist only)
2018
  • May 12 - 23, 2018
  • Sep 29 - Oct 10, 2018

ALT indicates a departure that has a slightly different itinerary than the one shown on this page. Click the ALT icon to see the day-to-day itinerary.

Expedition Cost

2017

$6,995

2018

$8,595

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,495 in 2017 and $2,150 in 2018.

International airfare to Casablanca and return from Fez is not included in the expedition cost.

In order to optimize photographic opportunities and allow for better access to our National Geographic photographer, we limited these trips to 16 travelers.

Featured Traveler Photo

What To Expect

Our hotels are first-class, well-located properties that reflect the character of each region. In Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and Fez, each hotel has a lovely pool and stunning tropical gardens. Our camp in Merzouga features deluxe Berber-style tents with en suite bathrooms and generator-powered electricity.